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A Straight Up Giant | Bloodaxe Books

Mark Waldron

A Straight Up Giant

Mark Waldron

Publication Date : 22 Jun 2023

ISBN: 9781780376691

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Serious, comic, brave, cowardly, engaged, disengaged, urgent, unurgent, chattering chiffchaff, talking horses, unpretentious, pretentious, all of God’s creatures are here. There’s also an almost – but not quite – dialogue between the poems and the laconic (and sometimes furious) musings of the passages which punctuate them. There are a series of fairytale poems, and others which give unfettered voice to Marcie, a character who has appeared in Mark Waldron's previous books. Behind the humour and playfulness, there is always something deeply unmeant, meant.

‘I get nervous for Mark Waldron's readers – I can hear them begin to laugh a little, becoming too comfortable too quickly, while reading a poem of his and I want to warn them. I want to yell at them to get out of the way, tell them that what's really happening is that they are about to get their hearts broken. Poor monkeys.’ – Matthew Dickman

‘Clearly, Waldron has enough wit and imagination to sink a battleship, but perhaps the most interesting thing about his work is the use to which he puts features widely disseminated in contemporary poetry: randomness, whimsy, play and inconsequence…. When Waldron exploits these traits and turns them inside out, he shows an impressive elegance and rhetorical power, sustained despite a blizzard of broken registers and bits of this and that. His work reveals an authority it might at first seem far from seeking. The outcome is poetry that might count for something.’ – Sean O’Brien, Guardian, on Meanwhile Trees

‘His special skill is comedy, but not the standup sort. His speakers expose themselves self-accusingly, defiantly, or bashfully, while at the same time seeming snug as bugs in their tightly interlocked chainmail of precise language….  And there lies the delight of the collection: it gives us a rare sense of the Elizabethan richness of an English that’s available right now. Underneath the defamiliarising ingenuity, the political pretension-pricking and all the narrative verve and swerve, the diction is the real star of this invigorating book.’ – Carol Rumens, Observer, Poetry Book of the Month [on Meanwhile, Trees]

‘He has since been publishing books steadily every few years and his latest, Sweet, Like Rinky-Dink, continues to develop his distinctive voice…. [an] accomplished and entertaining collection that showcases Waldron’s mercurial poetic voice.’ – Kit Toda, Times Literary Supplement


Mark Waldron: Sixteen Found Dogs


Mark Waldron: Buddies


Mark Waldron: Angry with Trees


Mark Waldron: Las Aves Vacías


Mark Waldron: Sweet, like Rinky-Dink


Mark Waldron: five poems from Sweet, like Rinky-Dink

Mark Waldron reads five poems from Sweet, like Rinky-Dink: ’Sixteen Found Dogs’, ‘Buddies’, ‘Angry with Trees’, ‘ Las Aves Vacías’ and ‘Sweet, like Rinky-Dink’. Videos by Mark Waldron.

Mark Waldron: Live at Ledbury Poetry Festival

Mark Waldron reads and introduces a selection of poems from his Meanwhile, Trees, together with two poems from The Itchy Sea (Salt Publishing, 2011, these marked with an asterisk): ‘All My Poems Are Advertisements for Me’, ‘The Uncertainty Principle’, ‘The Chocolate Car’*, ‘It’s hard not to see Hamlet as some kind of everyman’, ‘The Shoes of a Clown’, ‘The Dead Are Helpless’, ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, ‘Confessional Poem’, ‘Collaboration’, ‘Yes I admit that I have ate’, ‘First off…’, and ‘The Fire Hose’*. Filmed by Neil Astley, this video shows part of his performance (with Matthew Caley) at Ledbury Poetry Festival on 3 July 2016.

Mark Waldron: Live at Newcastle Poetry Festival

Mark Waldron speaks three poems from his new Bloodaxe collection, Meanwhile, Trees: ‘All My Poems Are Advertisements for Me’, ’The Dead Are Helpless’ and ‘Yes, I admit that I have ate’. This video shows part of his performance at Newcastle Poetry Festival on 6 May 2016. Filmed for Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts by Pamela Robertson-Pearce and Pete Hebden (with special thanks to Linda Anderson).


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BOOKS BY Mark Waldron

Meanwhile, Trees

Mark Waldron

Meanwhile, Trees

Publication Date : 26 May 2016

Read More
Sweet, like Rinky-Dink

Mark Waldron

Sweet, like Rinky-Dink

Publication Date : 23 May 2019

Read More

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Mark Waldron Readings

Mark Waldron Readings

Videos of Mark Waldron reading poems from his forthcoming collection A Straight Up Giant and performing at Newcastle and Ledbury poetry festivals are available online.

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